PCA 2013: New champion to be crowned from 66-player field

Registration allowed players to join the Women's Event at the PCA until the beginning of Level 3, and some of the late entrants included names you may recognize. Maria Ho? Ana Marquez? Fatima Moreira de Melo of Team SportStars?

The final number of players is 66, which created a prize pool of $66,000. The payouts will be as follows:

1st place: $22,420
2nd place: $14,080
3rd place: $8,320
4th place: $6,080
5th place: $4,480
6th place: $3,200
7th place: $2,880
8th place: $2,560

One of the early exits from the field was last year's champion, Kathy Saraf. She was a bit short-stacked at the first break, and we spoke to her for a few minutes. She is on vacation here in the Bahamas with her husband and children, a break from her job as a part-time business analyst in Manhattan, New York.

"We come here every year for vacation around this time," she said, noting that poker is a hobby for her. "I won a single-table satellite to the Main Event, then played it but only made Day 2," she revealed. "I played a $2K and a $5K but no cashes."

Saraf returned from the break to push her short stack and garner a few chips from others' folds. She then moved all-in again, that time for 4,650 chips with A♥Q♠ in the cutoff. Wendy Davis called from the big blind with A♠K♦, and the board came 3♦7♠3♣5♦K♥. Saraf exited in quiet fashion, not able to achieve back-to-back wins.

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2012 PCA Women's Event champion Kathy Saraf

Meanwhile, Fatima Moreira de Melo left quickly after her late entry. She tweeted that it was K-Q versus K-Q suited, and the spade flush sent her out to enjoy the warmth of the Bahamas.

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Fatima Moreira de Melo of Team SportStars

Lynn Gilmartin was also eliminated after running into too many sets. She lost some of her chips with pocket queens on a jack-high board when the other player had a set. After doubling to stay in action, she then put her chips all-in with a big pocket pair against pocket fours, and a four hit to knock Gilmartin out.

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Lynn Gilmartin

Friend of PokerStars Charlotte Van Brabander was an early casualty as well. "I had a crazy, sharky girl on my left," she smiled, still in good spirits. "I had strong hands against her two times, but it was hard to tell if she had the nuts or not. Ladies in these events are very aggressive, and I had never seen her play before, so I thought she had the better hands. I then lost to a one-outer. I was unlucky there. I only played about two hours."

She also played a $1,000 event at the PCA and survived through half the field before her kings ran into aces. She still plans to play a $300 turbo NLHE event on Monday. "I'm also learning Open-Face Chinese," Van Brabander said proudly. "I'm enjoying it very much, learning new games and playing with Marcel Luske and Lex Veldhuis. We're playing for $1 a point, but we're all learning, so it's cool. At the moment, I'm up $2!"

The highlight of her trip thus far has been the poker as a whole. "This room is just so amazing. When you play here, there is a lot to see in this big tournament room." She added that the weather, pools, and other activities are fun as well. She hopes to have time to swim with the dolphins, but her studies may prevent that from happening. "I have an exam the day I return from PCA, so it's a heavy schedule for me, but I enjoy the moments not studying."

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Friend of PokerStars Charlotte "Sjlot" Van Brabander

About 30 minutes before the dinner break, the field had been reduced to 39 players. They were informed that they will play a full 12 levels before finishing tonight, no matter how many players remain. We will update on Twitter and Facebook as the evening progresses, and look for another blog post or two here through the evening.


Photo credits and thanks to Carlos Monti.

Stay tuned to this blog space, as well as our Facebook and Twitter pages for the latest information.


Jennifer Newell is a PokerStars freelance contributor.

Jen Newell
@PokerStars in 2013